If you suffer from a dry, cottony-feeling mouth, you’re not alone. Many adults suffer from dry mouth, and it can be pretty uncomfortable or even miserable. Fortunately, you don’t have to stay feeling this way, though. There are several dry mouth home remedies you can try to ease the discomfort and prevent further oral health issues. We’ve put together nine easy-peasy and affordable tips to help relieve that dry mouth and hopefully – make life a little more comfortable. Take a look!
9 Home Remedies For Dry Mouth
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth occurs when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth to perform its beneficial functions. For example, saliva washes away food particles that may get lodged in your teeth. Saliva also protects your teeth from the acids in foods and drinks. Without this protection, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
Dry mouth remedies
According to Better Health Channel, dry mouth can develop for various reasons, such as drugs and medications, medical treatments, dehydration, the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome and other causes such as breathing through the mouth. Your dental professional or physician can help you pinpoint the cause of your dry mouth and assist you in managing the condition. In the meantime, though, there are some simple dry mouth remedies you can do at home to help ease your annoying symptoms.
1. Drink water
Dry mouth can occur as a result of dehydration from not drinking enough fluids. If you haven’t been drinking enough, sipping water can help wash away bacteria in your mouth until your saliva flow returns to normal after adequate fluid intake. But keep in mind – dehydration isn’t always the cause of a dry mouth.
2. Suck on sugar-free lollies
According to NPS MedicineWise, sucking sugarless lollies can help stimulate your salivary glands. Make sure they are sugar-free, though, because sugary foods can cause tooth decay. Plus, your risk of tooth decay is even higher with a dry mouth.
3. Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate your saliva, according to the Australian Family Physician. Plus, some chewing gum products include extra ingredients that claim to prevent caries.
4. Opt for decaf
Caffeine can cause further dryness, so your favourite caffeine hit could exacerbate your dry mouth symptoms. But don’t panic – we’re not saying you have to quit. You can still drink beverages like coffee or tea, but you might want to substitute as the decaffeinated versions may help avoid unnecessary dryness.
5. Breathe through your nose
Breathing through your mouth can increase dryness, especially if you’re mouth breathing while you sleep. If you’re unable to breathe through your nose due to allergies, congestion or sleep issues, speak to your doctor about remedying these problems. Then, you’ll not only help your dry mouth, but you’ll get a better night’s sleep, too!
6. Use a humidifier
Breathing in dry air can contribute to dry mouth over time, so using a humidifier to add moisture to the room can really help. Breathing in this moistened air can help minimise your symptoms and be quite a relief, especially when you’re sleeping.
7. Quit smoking
Smoking can cause or exacerbate dry mouth. According to Tobacco in Australia, smokers’ saliva is thicker than non-smokers. What’s more, they state “the amount of saliva decreases significantly with long-term smoking and increasing age”. (They also note that smokers have more acidic saliva, predisposing them to more oral and dental diseases.) If you’re having trouble quitting smoking — and many do — ask your dental professional or physician for advice.
8. Rinse with a dry mouth alcohol-free mouthwash
Many mouthwash products contain alcohol, which can be slightly astringent and affect your mouth’s moisture levels – which is the last thing you need if you have a dry mouth. Using a dry mouth alcohol-free mouthwash can help moisten the mouth without irritating or drying it more.
9. Over-the-counter saliva replacement products
There are sprays, rinses, and specially-formulated toothpaste that help keep your mouth moisturised. Sprays are super-convenient because they’re portable and take only a second to provide relief. You can use most saliva substitute products as often as required – or as your doctor or dental professional recommends.
Dry mouth can be an unpleasant condition with many causes and side effects. Fortunately, though, with the help of your dental professional or doctor and these handy at-home remedies, you can learn how to manage the symptoms – and make life more comfortable and enjoyable again.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.